Google has added support for 13 new languages including Nepali in Gmail on the web and feature phone browsers.
With this, the company claims that Gmail is now available in 71 languages, up from 58 languages before. It currently supports nine Indian languages including Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi and Malayalam.
Users can change their language by heading over to the Gmail settings and selecting their preferred language from the “Gmail display language” drop-down menu in the “Language” section. Following this, the Gmail interface starts appearing in their chosen language.
Google claims that it has worked closely with linguists around the world to make that the tone and style of the languages is right, since each language has its own nuances. For example, both Nepali and Hindi uses the Devanagari characters for writing, however Gmail’s Nepali language uses इनबक्स for “Inbox” instead of इनबॉक्स in Hindi, since it is apparently a spelling variation unique to Nepali.
Other Indic initiatives from Google
– Last week, Google had released a new version of Google Keyboard, adding support for Indian English.
– Google had also added voice input translations in Google Translate last month to support 8 Indian languages, although it hadn’t worked when we last checked.
– Earlier in March this year, Google had introduced handwriting input mode for five Indian languages – Gujarati, Kannada, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu on the web and its Android app. This was a month after adding handwriting support for Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Telugu on its Google Translate iOS app. The company also added Kannada and Tamil handwriting support to its iOS app a month later.
– In December 2013, Google Translate had added support for Punjabi language as part of nine new languages which includes Nepali, Mongolian, Maori and African languages Somali, Zulu and others.
– Google Translate had also added support for Marathi language on the web and Android in May 2013 and extended it to iOS in September 2013. It had released offline language packages to Google Translate’s Android app with support for fifty languages including Hindi in March 2013.
– Google had also released a text input app called Google Hindi Input, which allows users to type in Hindi on their Android phones. The company had rolled out system wide support for Hindi on Android through the 4.3 ‘Jelly Bean’ update in August 2013.
P.S. We are organising a invite-only discussion on the digital future of Indic languages in Bangalore next week (July 24). You can apply to attend the event here.